Arts and Crafts Extravaganza carries on into 52nd year

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – It’s a holiday tradition more than 50 years in the making. 

Hosted by the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, the Arts and Crafts Extravaganza brings hundreds of artisans and crafters to Cape Girardeau for a celebration of the holidays and artistry. 

Janet Hahs owns Garden Gate and has been coming to this show for 40 years. 

“I just love it here,” she said. “I love the atmosphere. We live about 30 miles north of here so it’s close to home, and I’ve just always enjoyed it.” 

Though she does make wreaths and other holiday décor, Hahs says her passion is painting. 

“I just love it,” she said. “It’s relaxing, and when I paint, I’m just a million miles away from everything else. I love it” 

Arts Council Secretary Michael Toeniskoetter said this arts and crafts fair provides people with a unique opportunity to shop for handmade goods. 

“It’s neat to be able to shop for handmade items for Christmas instead of buying your big box store items,” he said. “That’s what we see a lot of people doing here, and a lot of products come in here that people have made and are cherished for a long time.” 

He said, for an artist, seeing your work mean so much to the people you sell it to is quite the feeling. 

“I’m an artist myself, and I enjoy creating, and I love it more when people enjoy what I make,” he said. “You’ll see that here. A lot of people put their heart and soul into what they do, and to see that appreciated, that makes this a great community event.” 

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